February 9, 2016

NO SUCH THING AS QUALITY....:

Fake-Rothko Trial Makes Stock Market Look Perfectly Sensible (Katya Kazakina, February 9, 2016, Bloomberg)

Art dealer Ann Freedman spent the past two weeks as a defendant in a $25 million fraud trial in a Manhattan federal courtroom. Today, she is expected to testify for the plaintiffs, following a mid-trial settlement of the claim against her by Sotheby's Chairman Domenico De Sole.

De Sole and his wife, Eleanore, sued Freedman, former president of the Knoedler & Co. gallery in New York, for selling them an $8.3 million painting by Mark Rothko in 2004 that later turned out to be a forgery painted by a Chinese immigrant in Queens. The De Soles also sued Knoedler, a once-prominent, now shuttered Manhattan gallery, and holding company 8-31 Holdings Inc. The De Soles settled with Freedman on Sunday, but the dealer's anticipated testimony will be part of their ongoing dispute with Knoedler.

The trial is airing usually secretive details of high-end art transactions and making public the dicey nature of the authentication process. Witness testimony and court exhibits underscore how the trade's opacity compared with other financial markets can make it vulnerable to manipulation.

"At the time it didn't cross my mind they were selling fake art," De Sole told the jury last month.

Posted by at February 9, 2016 12:06 PM

  

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